Cervical degenerative spondylosis (grading)

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 12 Feb 2019

Cervical degenerative disease can be graded using a very old but reliable classification given by Kellgren et al. It is based on findings on a lateral cervical spine radiograph although it can also be applied to MRI evaluation of spine.

The key parameters are osteophyte formation, intervertebral disc height narrowing and vertebral end-plate sclerosis.

  • grade 0 (normal)
    • no degenerative changes
  • grade 1 (minimal/early)
    • minimal anterior osteophyte formation
    • no reduction of intervertebral disc height
    • no vertebral endplate sclerosis
  • grade 2 (mild)
    • definite anterior osteophyte formation
    • subtle or no reduction in Intervertebral disc height (<25%)
    • just recognisable sclerosis of the endplates
  • grade 3 (moderate)
    • definite anterior osteophyte formation
    • moderate narrowing of the disc space (25-75%)
    • definite sclerosis of the endplates and osteophyte sclerosis
  • grade 4 (gross)
    • large and multiple large osteophyte formation is seen
    • severe narrowing of the disc space (>75%)
    • sclerosis of the endplates with irregularities

See also

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads